One of the most popular topics over the last several months is sanitizing. Whether that is sanitizing your hands or sanitizing surfaces in your home, everyone is buzzing about it. Not only is cold and flu season on the horizon, but we are also still trying to manage the COVID-19 pandemic which brought the world to a complete stop. For months, products used to sanitize our homes and our hands were in limited supply. Shelves were emptied, manufacturers were struggling to keep up with demand, and when products could be found, sales were limited to ensure that everyone had a chance to purchase these much-needed items.
Commonly used sanitizer products included an antibacterial hand soap, hand sanitizer, bleach, isopropyl alcohol, and hydrogen peroxide. With everyone on edge and various governments worried about future flares of COVID-19 affecting the population through cold and flu season, it is important that we address some essential information regarding these items, especially since there is a good chance they will be flying off the shelves again in the near future.
Hand sanitizer is one of the most important items you can purchase to prevent any illness. Most viruses and bacteria make their way into our bodies through our hands. We touch something that is infected and without thinking twice, we touch our faces. Products like Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer are extremely important during this pandemic, especially since we do not always have soap and water available to us while we are away from home. This is typically when we infect ourselves.
It is recommended that any time you leave home, you should carry a hand sanitizer with you. However, because hand sanitizer contains a high concentration of rubbing alcohol, it is not recommended for you to leave it in your vehicle, especially in direct sunlight, because this increases the risk of the isopropyl alcohol combusting. You should also avoid your hands coming into contact with any source of flame after using hand sanitizer.
The most commonly used bleach used for disinfecting surfaces is liquid bleach. It is extremely important that you use bleach with caution because it can irritate your skin. Just like with any cleaner, it is important to read the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that you properly dilute the bleach for individual situations.
After using bleach to sanitize surfaces in your home, it is extremely important for you to rinse all of your disinfected surfaces with plenty of water to remove any chemical residue. It is also very important that you do not sanitize your home too frequently with bleach. Learn other ways to boost your immune system to avoid catching other seasonal ailments.
When you think of sanitizing surfaces in your home, your first thought may not be isopropyl alcohol, but it is extremely effective. It is also the main ingredient in effective hand sanitizers. To use isopropyl alcohol, read the manufacturer’s instructions to determine if it is safe to use on the desired surface and whether it should be diluted before use. Always rinse the surface well with water after sanitizing to prevent hands and food from coming into contact with it by accident.
Hydrogen peroxide is a very effective disinfectant, but it is often overlooked because most people associate its use with cuts and scrapes. However, if used according to the CDC’s guidelines, it can help keep your home free from harmful bacteria and viruses that cause different illnesses.
There are many other products on the market to help disinfect various surfaces in your home and even in your laundry. Make sure you always read the instructions on a new bottle of cleaner/sanitizer before use to ensure that there haven’t been any changes in recommendations and to ensure that you are using it correctly on the given surface. You may also choose a sanitizing option that is not chemically derived like vinegar, but it is not guaranteed to kill all of the bacteria or viruses that we see annually, and there is no solid research on how effective it is in killing COVID-19.